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Haley Raydo


November 23, 2013

It’s the Holiday Season… So Let’s Be Thankful!

November 23, 2013 | By | 2 Comments

Hello friends!

It’s another great day to write a blog and share with you my thoughts!  The past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about thankfulness.  It makes sense considering we are approaching Thanksgiving (which by the way is my favorite holiday!).

I was listening to a sermon at my church a few weeks ago about this idea of thankfulness.  It’s funny how often we use words on a regular basis, but never really dive down deep and figure out what they really mean.  My pastor talked about the difference between gratitude and thankfulness, thankfulness being something more than just a feeling.  “Gratitude is like wrapping a present, but never giving it.”

This has been a new revelation for me these past weeks.  Thankfulness is gratitude expressed. How often do I feel gratitude for what people do for me, but never show it?  I would say a lot, and the difference between the two is significant.

My pastor challenged us to write three things down we were thankful for each day of the week, and to share them with one another.  I thought it was such a great challenge that I thought some of you guys would consider trying it!  The importance of writing it down and sharing it is important because it takes it a step further than just thinking about it in your head.  It requires action.  If you find yourself writing a person’s name down, share it with them!  If you find yourself writing about food and shelter, volunteer and bless those who don’t have those accommodations!  The easy part is thinking of them and feeling gratitude, but let’s take it a step further and be thankful!

These are the three things I wrote for today!

1.  New Experiences! My MNU family!

I have been so thankful for this new stage of my life.  Meeting new friends, learning new things in new ways, and being apart of a new community!


2.  My Brother and Sister!

They are such a support for me, and I love them very much! Plus they are just really cute 😉


3.  The Month of November

November is my favorite month of the year! We have a 9-1 Chiefs team, we have a Jayhawk team that beat Duke last week, we have the Missions Conference at my church (my aunt and uncle are missionaries and I get to see them!), we have pretty fall trees at the beginning of the month, we have Christmas music at the end of the month, and we have Thanksgiving!! What else could be better?

trees part 2

That’s my blog for the week!  Accept the challenge I give if you are so brave… Oh and if you are looking for a church in the area, check out Cross Points Church in Shawnee!

Thanks for stopping by!


Follow me on tweeter and insta @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

Allegra Vieux


November 16, 2013

Tis the Season

November 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

(Please enjoy the sweet sounds of Sleeping At Last while reading this post)

Attention Blog World:

You may have been misled by our blogfeed as of this week. You may think based on the title of this post that the current season is that of TWIRP, which as you have probably figured out by now stands for MNU’s annual tradition: The Woman Is Required To Pay. While I did not TWIRP anyone, (see my post about dating,) I’m here to introduce a new topic to our faithful 6 readers out there.

The holidays are upon us! It’s official. Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away, Christmas is 40 days away, and the new year is 47 days out! (ish-depending on how you count.)

I have spent approximately 40 hours this week on Pinterest looking at fun Christmas decor and Christmas crafts and Christmas vegan crockpot recipes, all the while listening to Christmas music. The Target Christmas commercial really gets me in the mood and I’ve been to Target about 3 times this week just meandering throughout the seasonal section. I love the Holidays!

Now, before you formulate your comment about how much you hate that I’m skipping over Thanksgiving and jumping right to Christmas or how Christmas is too materialistic, I’d like to address them right off the bat.

1. Happy Holidays is about the season, not the individual days.

I think it’s absolutely absurd that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years have to be separate. When I say “Christmas,” I’m not talking about one single day- It’s the season. The one thing I’m thankful for most is Christ, so the whole season is a time to be Thankful. To separate the holidays is to abide by the materialistic component. There is no research in what I’m about to say, but I think it’s poetic that the Christmas season is kicked off by Thanksgiving: a time to reflect on all the things we are thankful for, which then leads into the birth of our Savior, which is the top of the Thankfulness chart, and then into New Years- a time to put our reflection to action start new.

2. Focus on the lasting, not the passing.

It’s possible to focus on the lasting memories made at Christmas time, and not just the passing material gifts. Let me give you an example: I was in 1st grade and woke up on a snowwy Lawrence morning to what seemed like a MILLION Christmas presents under the tree. It’s always been one of my mom’s things to make sure that we open presents for hours- One year when we were broke, she even wrapped up necessities like cleaning supplies and a new toilet seat to give us the “Christmas Miracle” feel. ANYway, while I remember waiting patiently to open what felt like my hundred presents, I don’t remember what I got, except one prized gift.

Picture 3 Picture 4

Yes, my Nsync “Home for Christmas” album. I’m listening to it as I type! While it may be that I remember this moment so clearly because I then and still on occasion believe Justin Timberlake is who the Lord has set aside for me, it meant so much to me that my mom went the extra mile. She took interest into what I was interested in, which is the biggest service you can do for a person IMO (in my opinion.) I didn’t even ask for this CD, but she knew how much I love(d) Nsync and got a special CD for me and even marked it, “From Santa.” I totes knew it wasn’t from Santa because I didn’t put it in my letter I sent him, and that made me love it even more. It’s not about the gift, it’s about the demonstration of love.

3. “The Man” is not out to get you.

As a marketing student, I can tell you that I’ve had a lot of conversations about campaign ideas, none of which started out with, “How are we going to drive America into materialistic death today,” OR “We gotta get those people to stop focusing on the God component of Christmas and more on the cheap crap they’re gonna need under the tree.” If you feel like you are having a hard time focusing on “the reason for the season,” it’s not because of advertisements, it’s because of overindulgence. I’m just as guilty of this as the next American Citizen. Turn off the TV, put down the ads, stop filling your Cartwheel coupon book. The things advertised are not meant to be the focus of your holiday- they are meant to enhance it. It’s kind of like makeup. Makeup is not your beauty, it just enhances it. (Realizing that this as well as any other analogy eventually breaks down, don’t think about it too hard.) It is your own choice to be consumed by consumerism, so take some responsibility.

While it seems like the whole world revolves around Christmas this time of year, it is definitely important to realized that it doesn’t. For many people, Christmas is just another day. It is a privilege to be able to take time off and spend even a day with loved ones reflecting on all that we are thankful for.  A heart wrenching statistic I recently read was that 100 million people in our world are homeless. A related stat estimates that 80% of humans trafficked are homeless when taken. This post is not to guilt you by any means, but it is important to keep in mind the bigger picture. Slaves don’t get time off with their families.

I found this Slavery Footprint tracker online through Amor’s Blog. I was shocked to know that I personally employ 43 slaves. It takes like 5 minutes to calculate, and I would encourage you to try it.

Picture 7

While you may have many different feelings regarding your results, I want to encourage you that there are things you can do this Christmas to contribute to making our world a better place. Part of my internship this summer was creating an advent calendar called “24 Days of Disruption.” This is a cool 24 day challenge to Disrupt your ordinary Christmas and become more Christ focused this season.

Here’s a blog post with more information: Picture 6

If you don’t click any other link I’ve provided, please read and watch more about this. Do Christmas differently this year. As your pinning your crafts and shopping for gifts and baking pumpkin bread, remember to take time and think about those who are not as fortunate. Commit to 24 Days of Disrupt and start new traditions to drive out the American tradition of worshiping “stuff” in the Christmas season. Take responsibility and action: you have been called to live a life higher than an imprisonment by your own things.

Happy Holidays!

Over and out!



Haley Raydo


November 16, 2013

Social Media: What Is It Really?

November 16, 2013 | By | No Comments

I was sitting in my Sociology class a couple days ago when MNU’s beloved professor, Bo Cassell, brought up an interesting point.  Why do we have social media? What is the point of it in today’s society? Why is it so valued? How has it affected our culture today? We discussed our theories. But what stuck out in my mind was Professor Cassell’s statement, “Now days, we do things in life so we can post about it.” MIND BLOWN.

This got me thinking, what would our lives be without social media?  Think about it.  We go to a party, and we tweet at least a couple times about how awesome the party is.  We get together for coffee with friends and we have to instagram a picture with our friends and our Starbucks beverage.  We are approaching Thanksgiving, so we must post a status on Facebook about all the things we are thankful for.  The status’ I tend to see look like:

I am soooooo thankful for the most amazing family in the world, the greatest bff’s a girl could ask for, and the hands-down best boyfriend ever xoxoxo love you baby. #soblessed #myboyfriendisbetterthanyours #ilovehashtags

(okay that was a bit extreme 😉 but side note, have you ever seen those hashtags? My boyfriend is better than yours? Because let’s be real, is he really? Who are you even talking to? Who is he better than? Everyone? Ah, oh well, love is blind so they say :))

Anyways… none of these things are bad! It is great to express thankfulness and gratitude (stay tuned for my next blog).  But look at the theme here, if we get down to the sociological factors, we all do this to put on a persona that our life is perfect and that others should want to be us.

Professor Cassell mentioned in class that in recent years, marathons have never been more popular. Why? Because everyone wants to post about it! If someone goes skydiving, bungee jumping, or something else extreme I guarantee they will post about it on social media.  Now I’m not going to lie, if I went skydiving I would definitely be posting about it like there’s no tomorrow. But you get the point.  Take this week at MNU for example, if you didn’t know (which if you don’t know and you attend this school, you probably are not active on social media) this is TWIRP week.  You can read some other blog posts if you want more information, but basically it is a girl ask a guy event.  But think about how many posts were made just about TWIRP!  Oh and let me guarantee you that on Sunday/Monday there will be some ice-skating pictures up from our MNU ASG event.


Now I am not saying that any of this is bad, because I am guilty of it as well! And I am not even suggesting that this should change.  But be aware of these persona’s people try to create; there are some serious dangers.  We assume our sister is happy because she just instagramed a picture of herself smiling, we assume that our cousin is all good with life because she just changed her relationship status to “in a relationship”, we assume that our friend is having the time of his life  because he tweets about all these parties he is getting invited to.  The problem is we assume, and miss out on the personal communication.  So I am challenging you, not to change what and why you post on social media, I am only challenging you to see your friends beyond it.  It is easy to appear to be doing great, we do that on purpose daily. But get behind the surface of a persona on social media and you find a real person that may need a friend.

So that’s my blog for the week! It got a bit deep at the end, but I hope you take the challenge! I plan to!  Oh and by the way—if you are looking for a good class at MNU I recommend Sociology with Professor Cassell! It is great! (P.S. Don’t stop posting your TWIRP pictures! I only used it as an illustration! I love seeing them!)

Thanks for stopping by!


Follow me on insta and tweeter @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

Joey Alligier


November 14, 2013

The Girls ask the Guys, it’s always a Surprise

November 14, 2013 | By | 6 Comments

Your heart is beating out of your chest, your hands are clammy, the answer seems to be inevitably NO, but you hope for a miracle, questions and concerns involving the “what ifs” are running rampant, breathing is not possible because you forgot how, AHHHHH… welcome to TWIRP week.

The main topic of blogs this week is TWIRP- The Woman Is Required to Pay. It’s obvious that this event can be for those with significant others or someone who is simply eyeballin’. 
The ladies define this as a risky scenario of putting themselves on the front line of the battlefield known as dating. 

A couple of our other bloggers have made it a point to address this. Now from a man’s point of view. 
Here are 4 reasons this time of the year is a bipolar occasion for the fellas as well. 

1) A taste of their own medicine. The ladies get to experience what guys do the other 51 weeks of the year. The fear of rejection, laughter, and possible urination station is experienced on the reg! Us guys go through the “asking out” antics consistently. This is a breathe of fresh air and relaxation for guys to sit back and let the ladies flock….or not. 

2) That awkward moment when… This time could also be a morally convicting one. There are girls that TWIRP you, as we call it, that came out of the woodwork. Basically, you didn’t see it coming! The moral standard is to be a good guy and say yes. However, some guys, like Terrin Garber #shoutout get asked by 3 different girls #hotcommodity and you have to decide if you’re going to be “that guy” and turn the poor girl down or you would feel too bad because you know the taste of rejection all too well.  I would say always say yes, it’s free. Plus, the ratio of good to bad TWIRPs is in the positive’s favor. 

3) In my khaki pants, OH OH OH. The ability to live out the beautiful structure of Relient K’s ever-famous Sadie Hawkins Dance. It’s as simple as that. I mean come on, who doesn’t want to be stopped by a girllll soooo stunning.

4) Chivalry is…? hmmm The ladies pay in this scenario. For some of us dudes, it’s not cool to let the lady pay! We want to be the care taker and open the door and pull out the chair and pay. It’s weird being the one who is receiving the chivalry. While it’s weird, it won’t always be around. My advice: EMBRACE IT MY BROS! 

TWIRP, overall, has got to be a fellas favorite time of year. Beautiful ladies, free stuff, and women experiencing what us men do regularly. 

FELLAS: Wear the clean underwear, fix your hair, for goodness sake shower at least twice this week, BE TWIRP-ABLE
LADIES: Rejection is known by the gentlemen, they feel the pain. Get out there and be stunning to stop the dude in his tracks. 

Keep on and keep God, 

Joey Alligier

Allegra Vieux


November 13, 2013

Mission Impossible

November 13, 2013 | By | 4 Comments

Hello Blog World.

This video is part of the worship service at my church on Sunday. Funny story about that.

So I guess you could say I’m the type of person that likes new things. I like trying/starting new things, and it doesn’t take much for me to get really EXCITED. I enjoy looking for new music, activities, playing new games, going new places, etc. And on the contrary, I get really bored with the same things over and over. I get bored easily and withdraw most often. I lose interest and move on to something… well.. new.

Last year in chapel, a guy came and spoke about Moses and his staff. He talked about how Moses, somewhere along the lines, acquired his staff, and no matter what situation Moses was in, God used the staff to help him lead the Israelites. He related the staff to our degrees. The main idea was that we could all be church planters regardless of our degrees, and we could all go into ministry and yada yada.

Then he said the words “We’ll have free pizza in the Tipping Point tonight and talk more about…” and I pretty much didn’t listen after that because I was so there. (in addition to new things, I really like free things.)

So I go to this meeting to hear about what the church planting process looks like from the ground up, because it has always interested me. Side note-I helped with a church plant on the plaza not too long ago, and it was really cool to see it come together. We met in the movie theater to attract people who were looking for a more casual worship experience and hopefully bring in some who weren’t comfortable walking into a church building. So I’m at this meeting enjoying new people and eating pizza that I didn’t pay for, and then like 5 guys who were all planting churches in the area talked about their vision for their individual plants, and proceeded to try and recruit us MNU students to help them out.

Okay so I’ll admit that I wasn’t super interested. I had just gotten settled into a church in Olathe and was making connections and really felt like I was in the right place. Our worship was awesome, our preaching was out of this world, and people were going down to the altar in masses of like 17 every week. I was cool with it. Also, it was a big congregation so I didn’t really have to be involved, although I was going to Bible study and giving and all that jazz. The point of this is, as soon as we were dismissed I tried to bolt out of that place because I didn’t want to lose my life to promoting a new church especially knowing how much school work I had to do.

Then, to my dismay, this dude Jonathan stopped me and started asking me about my life.

If you don’t know me, I’m a talker. and because I like meeting new people and new things, I became a little intrigued.  He said, “My hope is that we’ll be meeting in the movie theater in Overland Park at 135th and Antioch.” 2 things about this jumped out: 1. My Aunt and Uncle live 10 blocks north of that theater and 2. I helped plant a church once in a movie theater. So he gave me his business card, told me to email him because he wanted to talk about marketing ideas with me. So I gave him a fake smile and nod and told him I’d be in touch. he he he

Yeah okay so he somehow remembered my name and found me because I got an email from a professor asking if it was okay for him to give my email to this guy. Dang. I was like, “okay yeah I guess…”

So then after approximately 16 emails (I made it nearly impossible for him to get a hold of me,) I finally responded and he took me to Starbucks. We talked about social media and analytical junk that I won’t bore you with, then he asked me to meet every week. I was like, uhhh peace out. (Actually I probably went one or two more times for the free Starbucks and then told him I was busy.)

Since we’re being honest, I was getting a little interested, but not enough to exert much effort. Well this Jonathan dude exerted a lot of effort and sent me an email for kick-off Sunday with the order of service and a list of who was working where.






I was like, dang. This poor guy doesn’t get it. I guess I’ll show up this week, help with Audio/Visual, and then let him down gently. Because at least this way, I can say I tried and it just wasn’t for me.

So 9 months later I still go to this church and it’s not because I don’t have the heart to tell this guy that I’m not interested. I guess you could say I fell in love? It ended up that this church was like, designed for me. I still help with A/V and want to be even more involved. Turns out, this Jonathan guy can bring the word like nobody’s business. Then there’s Hurley and Tim: They are real musicians who have real musician friends who they bring with them to lead worship every week. Translation: It’s always different! This week, Hurls brought her rapper friend Rye-On and he free-styled  during the set. It was incredible.

So in the spirit of new and free, I have to give a shameless plug for Tim Cone, who also leads us in worship at Mission Church.

Picture 1 Picture 2

If you go to you get his new album for free. I don’t promote things that suck, so you should probably just go do it. It’s amazing and I’ve had it on repeat all day. I’ll make it even easier for you: Follow this link! NEW FREE MUSIC FROM TIM CONE

aaaaaanndd if you’re ever in the area, I would definitely recommend Mission Church KC. Never a dull moment!

Over and Outtt!


Haley Raydo


November 9, 2013

The Unwritten Rules In Getting a Date! Advice for Boys

November 9, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So by the title I am sure you can tell that this is a bit different from what I normally write about.  I was inspired by a dinner conversation I had with some of the girls.  We exchanged stories, boy stories to be exact, about different experiences we had.  Most of these stories were on the funny and a bit on the creepy side.  After discussing, we talked about how we wished guys would know how to handle situations better.  If you’re interested in a girl there are certain unwritten rules.  We talked and agreed on some, and decided this would be a great blog!

Now these bits of advice are generally speaking, not about anyone in particular.  We just thought it would be nice to help some guys out! Also keep in mind that all girls are different, very different, but for the most part these are rules you can follow for the average girl.


So here they are, the to do’s and what not to do’s in getting a date with a girl!

1. “God Told Me To Date You”

What Not To Do: Don’t pull the “God told me to date you” card.  For so many reasons this is a problem. First, it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on a girl and on a relationship.  If she has not heard from God that this is the case, she is not going to respond well to the statement.

What To Do: If you really feel like God is wanting you to date her, than great! But keep it to yourself.  If this is truly what God wants, He will keep her around.  Pray about it!  No need to rush!

2. Read the Signs When You Ask For Her Number

What Not To Do: You don’t want to be the guy that can’t read the signs.  As subtle as they may seem, trying to read them is always a good idea.  When you ask for a girls number and she seems unenthusiastic, gives a nervous laugh or smile, or tries to avoid the subject, than she probably doesn’t want to give it to you. So something you wouldn’t want to do is to text her immediately and constantly.  If you don’t get the hints up front, a girl is eventually going to have to be more blunt which will hurt worse.

What To Do: Wait awhile before asking for her number.  Some girls may like it if you ask for it right away, but a lot of girls are skeptical.  So don’t get upset if you get the sign!  The girl may have just had a guy hanging around them that broke a bunch of these unwritten rules, so they aren’t wanting to give out their number to anyone… So instead, get to know her first!  You don’t have to be buddy-buddy and get friend-zoned, but just a friendly conversation in class or a wave while walking passing her by makes a girl feel more comfortable!

3. There Is a Rule To Texting 

What Not To Do: Yes there is a rule, and one rule the girls and I agreed on was the 2-4 text rule.  If you send 2-4 texts without a response back (this goes for girls too) than there probably isn’t an interest there.  Now there are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part this is the case.  You don’t want to be the guy that sends 10+ texts at a time.  Take the signs, so a girl doesn’t have to be blunt.  If you are really unsure if your text are sending through, text a friend or your mom. :)

What To Do: If you have reached the limit, take a break for awhile.  I know it might be hurtful, but don’t put yourself through the torture! Now girls do love to be pursued, but the point is don’t go overboard if she’s not interested. You will find someone that is, and she will be the one you want to pursue and spend your time with!

4. Mentioning Marriage the First Time You Meet Someone

What Not To Do: Don’t talk about how bad you want a wife the first time you meet a girl.  She is probably in the same boat as you, but that adds a lot of pressure to the conversation.

What To Do: Have you noticed a theme? Timing is important! The only way to know perfect timing is through prayer.  Talking about marriage is something to wait to talk about.

I hope this is helpful!  The major theme when it is all said and done is timing.  Pray and ask the Lord to guide you through this time.  If you are in high school or college you have plenty of time, so don’t rush it!  Girls if you want some advice in a future blog let me know!

Thanks for stopping by!


Follow me on tweeter and insta: @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs

Allegra Vieux


November 4, 2013

Nazarene Musical 3

November 4, 2013 | By | No Comments

…This is my life.

Meet my friends Konner, Jonathan, Will, Charles, and Josh.

Watch More Here!

There are days when I feel like my whole life is a musical… and that’s probably because it is.

Over and Out!


Haley Raydo


November 2, 2013

Follow Me Around: Dorm Room, Basketball Game, Weird Squirrels

November 2, 2013 | By | No Comments

Hello friends!

So if you want to know what a (semi) normal day looks like for a freshman at MNU…. Here you go! Meet my friends, walk around campus with me, and get to know what campus life is like! I had a lot of fun filming my day.  The only thing I missed was the Masquerade that night for Halloween.

If you make it to the end… Major props to you!

Thanks for stopping by!


Follow me on tweeter and insta @haleyraydoo and @mnublogs


Joey Alligier


October 30, 2013

Passion in Pictures

October 30, 2013 | By | No Comments

Pictures capture a moment in time. A spot in history that can never be truly replicated. Snapping the obnoxious laughter from a more-corny-than-actually-humorous joke or catching the relief of a runner crossing the finish line is a fulfilling feeling. But it’s not fulfilling simply because the picture isn’t blurry. It’s fulfilling because there’s a story behind the picture. This story can impact the way you live because it molds the way you view life, people, and individual moments. Maybe it’s obvious and maybe it’s up to interpretation. For example, the corny joke is from a blooming friendship that is an answered prayer and the relieved runner has been training for months after forgetting what running meant.

There are numerous different things in life that can present opportunity for you to pour yourself into. For me, photography is one.

Here’s some of my “work”
(LOL, work? I was just being creepy, well like, kind of, never mind…)

Such a Time Cam Mario Madsion Deal Kylee Dylan Dr. Spittal Pumpkin RunLook at life through a different pair of glasses; who knows, maybe it will be a perfect fit. Don’t be afraid to try new things. They can become the things that mean the most to you. It doesn’t matter how good you are at it! The passion is yours, do with it what you will and make it matter.

Keep on and keep God,

Allegra Vieux


October 30, 2013

Mourning the Death of a Relationship: A word for the hurting, the healing, and the hating

October 30, 2013 | By | No Comments


crying-girlBreaking up is hard to do.

I can’t take credit for that wisdom, but in my experience, it is true.

When a relationship ends, it’s almost as if a whole person dies. When 2 people come together and form a dating relationship, the dynamic of the couple is like a 3rd friend. When that time is over, it’s like the third friend has left on bad terms, or even died but no one wants to acknowledge it. It affects everyone around, even those who weren’t involved. The two newly single people can catch a glimpse of each other from across campus and everyone within the local zip code feels the tension. I think it has something to do with quantum physics, but I’m no science major so don’t quote me on that.

There are 3 major people groups involved in a break up, as listed below:

1. The Hurting: The one who got broken up with- maybe didn’t see it coming.

2. The Healing: The one who broke off the relationship.

3. The Hating: The friends of the couple, or highly opinionated acquaintances.

Keep in mind that in whatever I’m about to say, I’m on your side. I’m writing as the completely unbiased third party, and won’t give you half-truths. There are absolutely situations that one person is completely wrong, but this is from the stand point that things just didn’t work out. If you are in any of these positions, I feel for you. It’s aca-awkward. So let’s dive in and relieve the tension.

To The Hurting: Be glad you’re not in a relationship with someone that doesn’t value you for all that you’re worth. Last week I kind of put Bruno Mars on blast, but the dude also has good things to say. For example, I wake up to “Treasure” every morning. The whole song is a booster, but there is a line that is fitting for this subject.

You’re wonderful, flawless, ooh, you’re a sexy lady”

Lady or gentleman, you are wonderful. You are flawless. You are sexy! These are all Biblical. Don’t mistake a relationship fizzling as a reflection of your identity. The addition of a significant other does not change who you are. The absence of a significant other does not change who you are. I have no reason to lie. You are a dream come true. A masterpiece- Don’t get in your head and make everything a reflection of you. Start listening to the truth and tuning out the lies. To quote B. o. B., “You the whole package, plus you pay your taxes.” I know for a fact the first statement is true, and if the second is true, then you’re set for life.

To The Healing: Props to you for having the courage to end something that isn’t going any further. It’s never easy to let someone down, but the shorter the delay, the better. You may be concerned that your sig (or in this case ex-sig) is drowning themselves in tears or cookie dough ice cream, but don’t take that on. Don’t give yourself the credit of making or breaking someone’s life. Sure, this is painful for everyone involved, but you’re not the center of the universe, therefore, you cannot send anyone into an apocalypse. They will be fine and so will you. Be prepared though- this takes time. Don’t expect to go back to being friends within moments of ending it. That’s not good for you or them. Let them lay low for a while, and don’t force a conversation or moment to happen.

To The Hating: This blog is mostly for you. If you are a friend of a sig, then there’s no such thing as a third party. You probably have opinions. You probably have the best of intentions in supporting your friend. Sometimes, the lines of supportive and destructive get blurred. Things that start so positive end really horribly, like the riot in the movie, Hot Rod.

hotrod5If you’re not familiar with the movie, the main character, Rod, played by Andy Samburg, is trying to raise funds for his dying stepfather’s heart transplant. While on his way to the fundraising event, the whole community comes alongside him and walks together with him. The song “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham plays over the dialogue and it is truly an inspiring moment in a weird, satirical movie. (Side note- this is my FAVORITE movie ever! Watch it if you haven’t because your life will be CHANGED!) Then the inevitable happens: a riot breaks out and the whole moment is killed in a matter of seconds.

I’m going to go as far to say that this actually happens more often on campus than we acknowledge. For example, a couple splits and the girl and guy go back to their respective same gender friends. The said friends both start consoling The Hurting and The Healing, and come alongside them in support. Somewhere along the lines, the opposing party (usually, The Healing,) becomes the enemy and it is a battle to get as many people in your army as possible. Tearing others down won’t make anyone any higher. This brings me to my first point:

Blowing out someone else’s candle will not make yours shine brighter.

One time, it was one of my professor’s 50th birthdays. My friend Emily and I got a small cake for him with 50 trick candles on top. We waited for him to go to class and proceeded to light all of said candles with the intention of disrupting his class and having a good laugh. The plan backfired. We definitely disrupted his class, because the flames came together and created one HUGE flame measuring up to 2 feet in height and nearly causing the entire business building to burn down. We busted into class, sang happy birthday, and then he made a wish, and tried to blow them out. This was the moment when I decided I hated trick candles, because the flames came back with a vengeance. The Lord was on our side, as it was a rainy day, and we RAN through the first floor of Metz, burst outside, and launched the now wet candles into the bushes. The cake was covered in rainbow wax and riddled in holes.. DEFINITELY inedible.

What if we, took our candles, and put them together to burn bright, instead of using them like torches to lead a riot? Maybe this is corny, but what if we loved our neighbors by supporting the good instead of condemning the bad? When talking to our Hurting and Healing friends, let’s make a point of reaffirming their qualities instead of bashing the bad. Forget boyfriend bonfires and remember the candle fiasco: it will change your paradigm.

What do you do if your Hurting friend is bashing their Healing ex-sig? It’s easy to jump on the wagon and want to join in with what they are saying. This brings me to my next point:

Not everything is black and white.

Keep in mind that the side of the story you are hearing when your friend is upset is tainted and not the most accurate. Don’t take those statements to the bank. Reaffirm your friend, and keep their candle shining, maybe even relight the flame. Use your powers for good and not for evil.

Do we all remember when Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were married? They were my favorite Celebrity couple second only to Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. I remember the day like it was yesterday: I was watching Newly Weds on MTV and the screen went black for a Public Service Announcement: that Brad and Jen called it quits. People went nuts! If people were in support of Jen, then they wore pink ribbons, but if they were for Brad, they wore blue ribbons. It originally had to do with Aniston backing Breast Cancer Awareness, known world wide for the pink ribbon, and Angelina Jolie with the blue ribbons for Child Abuse Awareness, and because Brad switched partners he switched causes or something… the point is that choosing sides and viewing things as black and white gets you no where except for down a destructive road leading to drama, and nobody wants that!

Real talk though- One of the things I think Christians miss the most is unconditional love. It’s a tough concept to grasp. This brings me to my final point:

It is possible to support a person without supporting their decisions.

We’ve all heard the stories about the engaged couple we don’t agree with and the battle among the friends on deciding if they are going to go to their wedding or not because they don’t support the marriage. Perhaps you’ve had to decide whether you’re going to a wedding or not, or maybe you’ve just had to decide if you’re going to buy Miley’s new song because it’s catchy but you don’t want to support her craziness. Similar principle.

I don’t preach often. But this is a subject that gets me hyped.

I don’t think Jesus died to give us the power to judge and condemn and make known our opinions. He died to give us life abundant. To not support someone because of their decisions is the farthest thing from the Jesus way of life. Jesus went to the cheating tax collector’s home and shared a meal with him. He hung out with the prostitutes and touched the sick and unclean. And what’s cool is, despite my decisions, regardless of my actions, and irrespective of my choices, He’s there for me and continues to support me. If He didn’t, that would be conditional love, and our gospel would look a whole lot different.

Let’s now apply this to a break up among our friends: You may not agree with The Healing’s decision to end things. That doesn’t give you the right to step in and assume the role of God by judging them based on their actions. This does not give you divine permission to hate them, start a riot and put people against them. That is called slander, and the Word of God is clear about this. You may not have agreed with The Hurting’s decision to date The Healing in the first place. That doesn’t give you the right to bash anyone. People of the Christian world: Can we please eliminate the expectation of meeting a certain living standard to start loving and accepting others? If this were the law we lived by, we would have no need for the cross, and I, personally, would be screwed.

I want to leave you on a lighter note- and I think this video below sums up everything nicely. Watch how Sophia Grace builds up Miley with the truth and just radiates with love for her. Let’s love both The Hurting and The Healing the way these little ladies love everyone!

Sophia Grace and Rosie on Ellen

If you made it this far, then well done!

Over and Out!